Why, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer, etc. The position of Paul in the voyage. Though a prisoner, yet really the ruler of the ship. An example of moral influence. The root of his character was neither his intellectual superiority nor the mere moral goodness of his motives, but his consciousness of direct intercourse with God. God had "spoken unto him."
I. TRUE FAITH OVERCOMETH THE WORLD.
1. By bringing in the light of the better world - so foreseeing the end, measuring present circumstances, maintaining physical and moral strength.
2. By lifting up the individual life into the sphere of the Divine purposes. Paul felt that he was living for Christ, and, as an ambassador, must be protected.
3. By cheering the heart with benevolence. "God hath granted thee all them that sail with thee." The sense of a philanthropic value in our own life is wonderfully cheering. We are doing good; what does it signify where we are, and how we are placed? Those around us must bless God for us.
II. THE VICTORIOUS LIFE OF FAITH IS THE ONLY LIFE WORTH LIVING.
1. The shipwreck of worldly confidence. Human wisdom, physical force, political supremacy - all fail. Our temptation in these days to trust in schemes of social remedy. Christianity alone can say, "Be of good cheer."
2. The Christian in the presence of suffering and death. Instances resembling Paul's. Mackenzie in the Pegasus. Then comes the trial of confidence, and what we want is to say, "I believe in God."
3. The ministry of the believer in a perishing, despairing world. Each one able to say to some and somewhere, "Be of good cheer."
4. The prophetic power of Christianity. Not idle dreaming, not fanatical predicting of events, but the certainty of the future brought to bear upon the present. One who can say," I believe that so it shall be," and who can show by his fortitude and cheerfulness that he does believe it, will be as a light in the world's darkness. Such a narrative rebukes the folly of our modern necromancy and soothsaying, and incites us to be true children of the day and of the light. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.